ON CAMPUS: Richmond hits championship-winning shot
It was the shot heard around the world, or at least seen around world, after showcasing on ESPN SportsCenter as Tuesday’s top play of the day.
Akeem Richmond (Southern Lee) nailed a three-pointer as time expired to lift East Carolina to a 77-74 victory over Weber St. to win the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship and cap the Pirates' best season in school history at 23-12.
"It's amazing," Richmond said of hitting the winner. "It wouldn't have happened without Miguel Paul. My guy had left me because Miguel had been torching them all night in the paint. They had to do something, had to guard him or leave me and they decided to leave me. I wasn't really shooting the ball as well. I guess they decided I wasn't going to make it."
Richmond finished with six points, three rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes of play but most importantly, he hit the one that mattered.
"We don't have anybody on our team that's better at shooting the basketball than Akeem Richmond," East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo said.
"He has over 100 threes on the season, and makes tough ones in tough environments. He nailed it," Lebo said.
ECU advanced to the championship game by defeating Evansville earlier in the week, 81-58, in the semifinals.
In his first season with the Pirates, Richmond caps his junior season by leading ECU in all three-pointer categories going 103-for-245 from behind the arc with a .420 shooting percentage. He was the team’s third-leading scorer finishing with 376 points averaging 11.1 points per game and third-leading free throw shooter netting 41-for-49 for a .837 shooting percentage. He was fifth in steals with 25 and fifth in assists with 40.
Nick Durazo (0-2) (Lee County) and East Carolina (14-15, 0-3) split games last week finishing 3-2. William and Mary defeated the Pirates 10-4 but the purple and gold bounced back to collect victories over Elon, 11-4, and sweep a two-game series with North Carolina Central, 3-0 and 5-1, before falling to N.C. State 6-1 Tuesday. Durazo took the mound against Elon pitching 4.2 innings, facing 20 batters and giving up four hits, four earned runs and striking out two in the Pirates' 11-4 victory over the Phoenix. ECU will finish out the week with a three-game series this weekend against Rice.
Justin Cox (SLHS) and Ferrum (11-20, 6-18) continue to struggle as the Panthers were swept in a three-game series last week by North Carolina Wesleyan, 14-18, 1-3 and 7-8. Cox finished the series going 4-for-16 with a double, two runs and a RBI. He accounted for 11 outs from his centerfield position. Ferrum will wrap up their regular season this week as they host Southern Virginia on Friday for their final home game and then travel to face Bridgewater on Monday.
Dillon Frye (LCHS) and 25th-ranked N.C. State (16-9, 3-6) finished strong last week going 4-1. The Pack defeated UNC Wilmington 10-6 before winning a three-game series with Maryland. N.C. State won game one 3-2. The Terps won game two 3-2. The Pack won the rubber game 9-4. State topped ECU 6-1 on Tuesday. State will host Virginia Tech this weekend for a three-game series.
Russell Clark (LCHS) and Campbell (24-5, 6-3) split games this week downing Duke 6-3 before losing two of three in a Big South series against Radford. The Camels beat the Highlanders 11-3 before falling 5-2 and 3-2. The Fighting Camels bounced back to pick up a win over North Carolina A&T, 10-2, on Tuesday. Campbell will travel this weekend to Presbyterian for a three-game series.
Carson Wilson (LCHS) and Pitt CC (15-12, 4-10) finished 1-3 last weekend in their four-game series with USC-Sumter. The Bulldogs lost the first game 0-2, won the second 4-2 but then dropped the last two 2-1 and 9-2. Pitt will face Guilford Tech for a four-game series this weekend.
Bkaye Smith (SLHS) and 19th-ranked Virginia Tech (18-6, 1-2) won one of three games with North Carolina last weekend. The Lady Hokies fell 3-2 to open the series before splitting a Saturday doubleheader, winning 7-6, then losing 5-1. On Tuesday, the Lady Hokies had a clean sweep of UNC Greensboro, 8-1 and 10-9. In the Carolina series, Smith finished 1-for-10 from the plate and accounted for five outs and four assists from shortstop. Against UNCG, her bat got hot as she went 4-for-7 from the plate scoring two runs and one RBI while notching three outs and four assists defensively. VT will host Georgia Tech this weekend for a three-game series.
Katie Chapman (LCHS) and Guilford (12-12, 0-8) split a doubleheader with N.C. Wesleyan last week, winning the first game 6-3 but dropping the second game 4-0. The Lady Quakers will host Sweet Briar for a doubleheader on Saturday.
Micah Lawrence (LCHS) and 20th-ranked Barton finished fifth out of 18 teams in the Bearcat Golf Classic last week at Greenwood Country Club in Greenwood, S.C. Lawrence finished the tournament tied for 44th with rounds of 83-76-71-230. Lawrence holed four birdies in the third round to card Barton’s best score of the day, a one-under 71. The Bulldogs will tee off Monday in the Mount Olive Spring Invitational at Walnut Creek GC in Goldsboro.
Karli Heimbecker (SLHS) and South Florida finished 16th out of 18 teams in the Briar Creek Intercollegiate last week in Charleston, S.C. Heimbecker finished 95th carding a 86-86-84-256. The Lady Bulls will now prepare for the Big East Championships to be held in Celebration, Fla. April 21-23.
Hailee Lilly (LCHS) played this past spring for the Lindenwood-Belleville University in their school’s inaugural women’s lacrosse season. The Lady Lynx finished their season 0-5. Earlier this year, Lilly competed on Lindenwood-Belleville’s women’s wrestling team making a trip to the WCWA National Tournament in Allen, Tex.